The NBA lockout rumors have continued to grow and spread as the 2010 season has gone on. Most recently, NBPA chairman Billy Hunter sent the media into a frenzy when he said that a lockout was "99 percent certain".
If the 2011 NBA season is locked out, it will obviously affect every player in the league. But there are those for whom the lockout could be catastrophic, most notably the 2011 class of free agents.
While 2011's free agents aren't as high-profile as last year's group, there are plenty of big names that could miss out on big paydays. Who stands to lose the most? We're ranking the 20 biggest names of the class, who stand to lose the most.
Brewer is a talented defender, who is capable of closing down on a scorer. He's a strong finisher in transition, even if his shooting percentages leave something to be desired. He's a good athlete, who has shown improvement in every season of his career.
He'll be a restricted free agent in 2011, and he would be sure to draw a decent contract on the free agent market.
Much like Brewer, Pietrus is a strong defensive guard/forward that hasn't fully developed as a scorer. He's a decent 3-point shooter, and his size allows him to play two different positions. He's versatile defensively, and would be a perfect bench/energy guy for a contender.
He's got a player option for 2011, and while he's slated to earn $5.3 million next year, many speculate that he's going to test the free agent market to try and get a long term deal.
Sure, Nene's 28 years old. But the Brazilian big man still has untapped potential, thanks to an injury plagued career.
At his best, Nene is capable of giving teams fits with his combination of size and quickness; at his worst, he's an injury-plagued big man who can't stay on the court long enough to make a significant impact.
Nene was considering walking out on the last year of his contract, if this season went well, but with the threat of a lockout, he could be missing out on a big payday on the open market.
Thornton is an offensive minded forward who struggles with complex plays. He's a good scorer around the rim and out on the perimeter, but his defense is subpar at best. He's almost too big to be a small forward, but much too small to play power forward in the NBA. He's not a great decision maker, and can't create shots for his teammates.
Thornton is a great fit as a sixth man/energy-type player, but he's also an unrestricted free agent next year, meaning he could be in for a big payday. If, of course, there is basketball going on.
Richardson is still one of the league's best pure scorers, and he's perfectly designed for the Suns' run-and-gun system. He's not a great defender, but that doesn't matter when you combine a solid jumper with a still-strong above-the-rim game.
For a team in need of perimeter scoring, Richardson could be a fantastic grab. He's a great fit as a scoring small forward, although he's not quite a star. Even so, Jason should command a high price on the free agent market.
Martin is still one of the more athletic power forwards in basketball when he's healthy, although those moments have gotten fewer and further between.
Martin's an excellent finisher, and a great defender, but his rebounding is a bit lacking. Still, for many teams, the forward could be a real asset, if they can keep him healthy.
Young is an explosive, versatile forward who still has bunches of upside on both ends of the court. He's better suited to play power forward, but is fast enough to play at small forward, as well. He's struggled in the last couple of years, as his role has diminished in Philadelphia, but he's got the talent to make some team extremely happy.
If the 2011 season actually happens, Young will be a hot free agent commodity.
Gasol has developed into one of the most reliable big men in the NBA over the last two seasons. He's a decent scorer and rebounder, and while he's nto as talented as older brother Pau, reliable big men are hard to find.
Gasol's value would be higher if he could block shots, but the restricted free agent is sure to draw a lovely offer sheet from someone in the league.
Prince battled a ruptured disk in his back last season, but now that he's healthy, the 30-year old forward is proving he's still as good as ever. His defense is solid, his offense is strong, and he's got the athletic ability to keep up with faster players.
Prince is playing for a Pistons team in the midst of a complete overhaul; if he opts to leave next year, he could easily get a big contract somewhere.
Landry's an excellent post scorer despite his small size for a power forward. He's a decent rebounder and a tenacious defender, but he lacks athleticism.
Landry's scoring touch makes him an appealing free agent for many teams, and he could score a big payday, if the NBA is in business next season.
West has been one of the NBA's most consistent power forwards for several years now. He's a good scorer, strong rebounder and a decent dribbler, who struggles on occasion on the defensive end of the floor.
NBA teams would kill for that kind of consistency, and West would be in line for a big payday if the 2011 season happens.
Kirilenko is one of the most versatile, talented players in the NBA, but he's struggled to put it all together over the years. He's an excellent shot blocker, and a good scorer, who can play either the small or power forward positions, despite his slender build.
However, AK-47's stats have never quite lived up to his skills, and the Russian has yet to submit a truly star-caliber season. Even so, that potential is enough to make him a tempting free agent for many teams, and he's sure to get a lucrative deal.
Smith has all the physical talent in the world, but he's never been able to put it all together. He has some of the worst shot selection of anyone in the NBA, but has the raw skills to be a star.
Smith is rare on this list in that he still has upside, and that alone is enough to get someone to lavish a massive contract on him in the offseason, if there isn't a lockout.
Stuckey's one of the NBA's better young point guards. He's a good scorer and a solid distributor, and is an excellent defender.
He's still a work in progress at the point, however, and it's unlikely that the Pistons would let the restricted free agent get away. Still, were it not for the lockout, Stuckey could expect a big jump in salary.
Randolph might be the most talented scorer and rebounder in the entire free agent market, but his lack of mobility and defensive acumen hurt him.
Plus, there's the whole "might be insane" thing, which can't help much at all. Still, he's a talented player, and someone will give him a good sized deal.
Murphy is an excellent offensive player with better range than almost any other power forward in basketball. He's a great rebounder, but his shot blocking skills leave much to be desired.
Still, his consistency and skills make him a valuable commodity for many teams, and he could snag a lucrative deal in the free agent market.
Green has gotten lost in the thrilling play of Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, but the slightly undersized power forward is good at just about everything. He's got good athleticism, range and defensive skills, but he's not great at any one thing.
Even so, the Thunder won't be able to afford to sign him to the big contract he deserves, and he'd make some team extremely happy in the free agent market.
Tony Parker is one of the best point guards on the market in 2011. He's a good finisher and slasher, which helps him dump the ball off to perimeter or post players. His defense is solid, if not spectacular.
His shooting isn't great from the perimeter, but for Parker, teams would be more than happy to overlook that glitch. He's going to get a big contract, even if his character is in some debate after the Eva Longoria scandal.
Williams has been an All-Star point guard for several years now, and is one of the better scoring guards in the NBA. He's a great slasher and shooter, but doesn't pass the ball enough to be a true elite point guard.
Mo's defense has been the subject of much debate over the years, and quick point guards give him fits. Still, to get a scorer like Williams would be a major boost for any team, and he's sure to get a good chunk of change.
Anthony is the big prize in next year's free agent class. The forward is one of the NBA's best scorers, and he's been one of the best players in the league since day one. He's not the best defender in the world, but do you really think his suitors care?
Anthony is sure to draw a big contract, and he's definitely the player most hurt by the potential lockout. He's expressed a desire to opt out of his contract in Denver, so he'd definitely enter the free agent market.